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Subject: Isolation and Technologies issues rss

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PMD
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After four games of Eclipse (two 3-player and two 4-player games) we decided there are two issues which aren’t addressed by rules, but they should be.

First one regards technologies in games with less than 6 players. For example, when playing 3-player game what do you do if you draw 4th or 5th identical technology? Do you discard them and draw another one? We’ve found that a bit annoying when 5th Nanorobots pops up or when Starbase is drawn when all players are Terran without single Advanced Economy available.

Second is an isolation issue. Most of my fellow gamers are not aggressively oriented, therefore, prefer isolation over multiple connections between systems. I can’t convince them they are limiting their own possibilities of expansion and determining winner in early-middle game – the player who has better systems in his ‘own’ part of galaxy. After yesterday’s game I’ve thought of a house rule:

Quote:
when placing a system you have to make as many wormhole connections as possible.


I’d like to hear your thoughts on that house rule and your own experience with isolation issue.
 
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Mikko Saari
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Your wormhole rule would wreak havoc on the strategic aspects of exploration. I would refuse to play with such a rule. How could I protect myself from over-militaristic neighbours, if I can't adjust the wormholes to my liking?

Better players will not avoid contact, as getting allies and having access to other players is a good idea, but I don't think there should be a rule to enforce taht.

The technology draw is good as it is, I think, I don't see much reason to adjust it. It makes the technologies available more variable between games, which is good.
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PMD
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Thank you for a quick reply!

Issue with technologies isn't a big problem for me, rather for my fellow players.

Do you have any tips how can I convince them that they should avoid isolation a bit? I was thinking of sacrificing next game and going more for military force, buy wormhole generator and crash one or two players, while they wouldn't be able to respond, due to lack of full wormholes.
 
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Mikko Saari
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Yeah, I think that if you assume a more expansionist strategy and make contact and get allies, you'll gain from the alliance cubes and perhaps your friends will see that being isolated is not so useful in the end.
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Daniel Hammond
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It could be the type of players you are playing with also. If you crash through their "wall" it might force them into playing a type of game they don't like (potentially losing them as Eclipse players). Not saying you shouldn't do it and if they respect playing to win, it shouldn't be a problem. Turtling players want the extra tech because they aren't seeking combat, but that is why the game is built why it is. You can't count on being able to pursue a single strategy to victory every time you play.
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Hannu Sinisalo
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You can always go for the centre and give a beating to the turtlers from that way. There should be viable connections to other players' systems in the I-ring.
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Purple Paladin

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When you win, simply show them all the points you got for "not" being a turtle.

Newer players don't realize at first how much better your point draws can be by attacking early and often.
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bryden
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emancypator wrote:
After four games of Eclipse (two 3-player and two 4-player games) we decided there are two issues which aren’t addressed by rules, but they should be.

First one regards technologies in games with less than 6 players. For example, when playing 3-player game what do you do if you draw 4th or 5th identical technology? Do you discard them and draw another one? We’ve found that a bit annoying when 5th Nanorobots pops up or when Starbase is drawn when all players are Terran without single Advanced Economy available.

This is what I suggeested in my Pros and Cons review. Drawing excessive unneeded techs is just a silly way to accept a variable distribution. I mean why not just put in 30+ blank tiles and let all player counts experience a "limited" game experience "occasionally".

It would have been nice if some kind of variation was offered in the rules for the tech draw. You mention the most extreme example (starbases/terran). I don't think that adding anything to the setup is really an option since it already takes a bit to get up and going.

emancypator wrote:
Second is an isolation issue. Most of my fellow gamers are not aggressively oriented, therefore, prefer isolation over multiple connections between systems. I can’t convince them they are limiting their own possibilities of expansion and determining winner in early-middle game – the player who has better systems in his ‘own’ part of galaxy. After yesterday’s game I’ve thought of a house rule:

This can be frustrating but after a couple games we found that just sitting back all game was almost a guaranteed way to lose and gets boring after the 3rd game in a row that it happens. If no one breaks out of the mold, the pattern will continue until everyone gets bored of the game which should be by game 5.

The wormhole suggestion is extreme. I would not recommend that. I assume that the players are also friends/family of yours and you don't want to lose them as gamers. So announce your aggressive intentions before you tear them up to see if they appreciate seeing "really" what the rest of the game is about.

Good luck, and change the tech draw. It is much more interesting that way (with reduced player counts 2-4).
 
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Chase Unruh
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Having so many technology tiles is something I appreciate about the game. I understand that not all technologies will be available to all players, which, depending on how you look at it, can slightly diminish the experience. However, I don't like playing with people who "count cards" because it forces me to do the same to be competitive. Anyway, there's my unsollicited two cents. In my opinion, more is usually better than less.
 
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Forrest & Ryan Driskel
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As far as isolation goes ... get the Wormhole Generator early and show them you don't care for isolationism.
 
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Kelvin Lau
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protip: play overaggressively until they eventually learn. works wonder.
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stephen biggs
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emancypator wrote:

First one regards technologies in games with less than 6 players. For example, when playing 3-player game what do you do if you draw 4th or 5th identical technology?

I have the reverse opinion. The main thing I don't like about the 6 player game is you know with complete certainty that all the research tiles will be available during the game, unrealisticyuk The main truism of scientific research is you can't be sure of what will work until afterwards.
One of the results I'm hoping to see from the expansion is a lot more research tiles & hence less predictablity in what tech will be available. The interesting question will be can the game designers achieve more randomness in the research without unbalencing the game...?
emancypator wrote:
when placing a system you have to make as many wormhole connections as possible.

That effectivly eliminates player choice.
And hence reduces game skill.

It guess it would also make the Planta (one of the weaker choices) too weak to play. Conversly it will improve {Draco & Orion} which are currently two of the stronger choices.
Eridani have a turn-1 strategy where they:
Setup adjascent to another player.
Explore a connection to their homeworld.
Build a dreadnought.
And conquere it turn-1.
For the weaker races the only defense is to prevent the wormhole connection. This optional rule would forbid that defensesoblue

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PMD
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Guys, thank you all for response.

Now I see that forcing as many connections as possible would be devastating to the game. I think I'll just sacrifice two-three next games to show my fellow players other game styles, even if that costs me losing.

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